More Burlesque Show Than Movie, It is Zany at its Best, Dumb at its Worst
This movie was written by Herman Mankiewicz. We may ask, "Is this as good as his "Citizen Kane?" This movie was produced by David O. Selznik. We may ask, "Is this as good as "Gone with the Wind?" This movie has song lyrics by Dorothy Fields. We may ask, "Is this as good as "Swing Time," "Roberta" and "Sweet Charity?"
Unfortunately, I would have to say, "No" all five times.
While this is a zany hour or so of music and vaudeville style comedy, it is too slight to be considered more than an amusing, quirky farce.
There's a lot of talent both behind and in front of the camera and everybody seems to be having fun, but nothing matches, meshes, or stands out (with the exception of two minutes of naughty precode fun watching some singing beauties taking showers.
Seeing Edna Mae Oliver and Zasu Pitts is always a joy. I didn't find either Jack Pearl or Jimmy Durante more than occasionally amusing.
Some reviewers have attacked Ted Healy for his bad treatment of the Three Stooges. This is the third or fourth film I've seen him in with the Stooges and I think he does interact very well with them. He is just playing a character and his mean treatment is just part of the act, not anything real. Essentially Moe just takes over Healy's harsh boss role after they split. We should give Healy the credit he deserves for creating the successful slapstick formula. If you watch Healy in "Varsity Show," you'll see a totally different side of him. He is both funny and charming in that movie. Sadly, he was killed a few months afterward. I think if he hadn't died, he would have continued to be successful without the Stooges. Perhaps he could have answered some of the charges that the Stooges later brought against him.
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